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Call for Submissions

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Call for Submissions for Holding Patterns

Art Spin is gearing up for its tenth season of programming and is looking for submissions for an exciting new exhibition titled Holding Patterns, scheduled for October 2018. This exhibition will take place in a storage locker facility located in Toronto’s south Junction neighbourhood, animating a series of storage locker units with a wide array of art projects.


We are looking for project submissions that will respond to and think critically about the following curatorial framework:

Recognizing the shifts, upheavals and transience that storage lockers often suggest, Holding Patterns will explore movement, space, belonging, material culture, and transition as themes that animate personal narratives and histories of place more broadly. These issues are particularly important for artists with lived experiences of site-lessness, displacement, or exclusion. In light of this, priority will be given to artists that identify as indigenous, LGBTQ+, or from visible minorities. Drawing together these varied realities of space, storage, excess, and access, Holding Patterns will explore not only the personal stories, but the histories of urban development and community migration that accompany them.

Some of the ideas which this project has inspired in its curators and which artists are invited to think critically about are:

  • self-representation via the material goods one owns (the notion that storage locker contents reveal a type of “self-curation”)
  • storage lockers and their contents as a metaphor for memory and/or forgetting, or consciousness and unconsciousness
  • the storage locker as a receptor for a seemingly contradictory objects that range from the precious to the useless
  • what do these relatively recent spaces say about consumer capitalism and the culture of materialism
  • the idea that at the core of material culture and the insatiable drive to consume/possess lies a fundamental denial of mortality
  • what does it mean to be “site-less” both in the literal sense of the word but also in the conceptual, more nuanced sense of being relegated to the fringes of society where one occupies a form of existential site-lessness
  • the position of site-lessness as an antecedent to resistance or revolution both personal and political
  • it is interesting to note that the storage locker industry is driven by short-term tenants, whose situations are defined by what the storage industry calls the Seven D’s: Death, Divorce, Disaster, Delay, Dislocations, Deliveries and Densification; how can the phenomenon of the storage locker help us to better understand these core human concepts


Art Spin is seeking submissions from individual artists and collectives working in a variety of disciplines including but not limited to: sculpture, installation, film & video, electronic & kinetic work, painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, performance art, dance/movement and sound art. We are eager to receive submissions for new projects but are also open to reviewing existing works. Only submissions that respond to the curatorial framework, listed above, will be reviewed.

Selected artists/collectives will receive an artist fee and small budget for materials. Fees to be determined on a project-to-project basis. See guidelines for more details.

Exhibition dates will be in October 2018, exact dates yet to be determined. Further details about the site can be found in the guidelines.

Applicants must read the Art Spin submission guidelines and submit a completed submission package. The full guidelines and application form can be found at →

Deadline: Monday April 23rd (11:59pm)

If you have any further questions about the submissions process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

About our history & interest in this site

  • Art Spin is entering its 10th year of programming in 2018 having produced and successfully presented a wide array of dynamic projects including curated bike tours and exhibitions, including the highly acclaimed in/future art and music festival in 2016 that transformed the 14 acre West Island of the then decommissioned Ontario Place, with over 100 artists and 15,000 visitors.
  • Since 2009 Art Spin has conducted 28 curated bicycle art tours, drawing an average of 400 people per tour. In that time we have worked with approximately 285 artists/collectives and curated 70 commissioned projects. We’ve presented 8 large-scale, multi-day group exhibitions in which we have presented the work of 152 artists.
  • We are especially excited by the opportunity to work in this storage locker facility, as the building was the site of our first ever group exhibition in 2010 when we presented a 26 artist exhibition in a 10,000 sq. ft. section of the building now occupied as office space. Coming back to this venue to celebrate our 10th anniversary is a fitting and a somewhat poetic turn of events.


Since 2009 Art Spin has been exploring the parameters of public art through the temporary activation of unique spaces –often abandoned or in a state of transition – by way of large scale group exhibitions and bicycle-led art tours throughout Toronto. These thoughtfully curated projects showcase a wide range of newly commissioned art programing from a variety of disciplines that evolve in response to place and aim to be accessible to as wide a range of people as possible.

Led by Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta, artists and independent curators, driven by a strong sense of commitment and civic passion for presenting contemporary artworks in alternative, everyday spaces in order to make people’s experiences with art more personal, engaging and fun, while also demonstrating the essential contribution of public art in shaping our city and its citizens for the better.

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